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Who Are We?

About Us

We believe that politics is about more than power and personality. It is about our families, our businesses, our jobs and our communities. With that view, we aim to break through the misinformation, lies and distractions of the political class to connect with suburban voters, students and influencers on issues that impact their lives, families and businesses.

Breakthrough Ideas is a policy advocacy and education network that advances the causes of peace, prosperity and freedom by highlighting the virtue of taxpayer-centric and liberty-focused policy, and the ways in which they benefit all members of a community.

Our Mission

The mission of Breakthrough Ideas is to build networks of voters and students. We will build online networks by providing engaging, shareable content. Physically, we will build suburban networks by providing local meeting and organizing spaces for neighbors to come together and build coalitions around critical local issues independent of a political party.

The Team

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Jeanne Ives

CEO & CO-FOUNDER

A West Point graduate, Jeanne Ives served three terms as an Illinois State Representative. First elected in 2012, she demonstrated not only a willingness to lead on difficult issues and question powerful House leaders, but also an insightful understanding of policy.

Prior to her election to the Illinois House, Ives served on the Wheaton City Council, where her tenure was marked by conservative leadership and an unwavering commitment to the taxpayers’ bottom line.

In 2020, Jeanne was the Republican nominee for Congress in IL-06. During that race, her campaign put in place the infrastructure to begin the pushback operation against the socialism that invaded the US House in 2018. She plans to continue developing that infrastructure as CEO of Breakthrough Ideas.

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Larisa Calvanese

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Larisa is excited to join Breakthrough Ideas as the organization’s Executive Assistant. Prior to joining Breakthrough, Larisa was the Executive Assistant and Scheduler for Jeanne Ives’ 2020 Congressional Race. She has also worked as a Volunteer Coordinator for a hospice organization.

Larisa serves in her church as a small group leader and youth ministry chaperone. She volunteers for Reclaim13.  She is currently a committeeman for Downers Grove Township Republican Organization.

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Chris Warden

COMMUNITY OUTREACH DIRECTOR

Chris is incredibly honored to join Breakthrough. Prior to joining Breakthrough, he was the Director of Business Development for Advanced Healthcare Associates, family-owned healthcare centers. Chris ran his own venture capital firm when he first arrived in Illinois 26 years ago.
 
Chris volunteered on Jeanne’s congressional campaign as an impactful grassroots leader creating a vast network of north suburban conservatives and organizing various events & fundraisers. His intrigue into Jeanne's message and her desire to improve our state and local communities has continued to engage him in local politics. Chris looks forward to helping grow this grassroots non-profit organization and educating voters throughout our communities.

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J.P. Augustynowicz

PRODUCTION MANAGER

J.P. is a six year Veteran of the United States Navy Submarine Force.  Stationed just outside of Seattle, he served on-board the USS Parche as a Fire Control Technician. The USS Parche is the most decorated ship in US Naval history. After his time in the Navy, he attended Northern Illinois University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science.

Since graduating, he worked as a legislative assistant, and part-time IT consultant. J.P. has also worked on many political campaigns, including Jeanne Ives’ race for Governor and Congresswoman (IL-06). He also ran his own campaigns for State Representative and Alderman. J.P. is excited to continue the work that we had started on the congressional campaign and take political digital production to the next level at Breakthrough Ideas.